Google+ 11/13/12 Are You Stubborn?

Romans 2:5-11

 

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin,

you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself.

For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.   

He will judge everyone according to what they have done.  

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory

And honor and immortality that God offers. 

But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves,

Who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.   

There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil

For the Jew first and also for the Gentile.   

But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good

For the Jew first and also for the Gentile.   For God does not show favoritism. 

 

Don't panic, this is not going to be a sermon, just a devotion!  Please read the above passage carefully.  Paul is once again writing to the Romans for three reasons.  First, he wants to teach the fundamental doctrine of Salvation which would have been a completely new concept to the Roman Church.  Second, Paul wishes to explain the unbelief that was now occurring amongst the Israelites.  Finally, he wishes to give very practical, daily living instructions on being a practicing Christian.  In our Scripture lesson today, Paul shares with the Romans how the judgment of God is going to work.  This references our devotion from yesterday (if you missed it, please read before leaving the website today!) regarding good fruit.  Paul explains that the only way our true heart for Jesus shows, is in the works that we do for Him and others. Paul also introduces the clear concept of how to repent.  He beings by telling us we are stubborn and refuse to TURN from our sin.  We so often miss this concept when we ask God to forgive us.  God will always say yes to our plea.  He expects us to be truly sorry for our sin and turn from it.  Paul tells us that we won't!!  Paul knew a lot about human nature.  Paul also knew what he had been through and reflected on his own conversion experience on the Damascus Road.  The greatest part about this Scripture is that Paul explains that God will punish His chosen people first.  This is what is meant by the double reference to "first the Jew and then the Gentile".  What does that say to us?  God expects more out of people who profess to be His disciples.  Those that don't know Jesus Christ, in this case the Gentiles, are expected to fall short.  That's why Paul is instructing the city of Rome in the ways of God the Almighty.  Please notice that regardless of whether we are Jew or Gentile, the punishment is the same.  It is only the order of punishment that is different. In our weekly Bible study, we have a balance of learning about the love of God and the wrath of God.  There should be that balance because this is what the Scripture teaches, just like our passage today.  We have one person in our regular group that always says the most important thing, out loud, whenever we talk about God's wrath.  The statement that is offered is a very simple one which is "Can't we just repent?".  As ministers, we often make things much more complicated than they should be.  This wise observation is completely true.  We can and should repent and not be stubborn.  If we do, read what God will do for us. God bestows on us eternal life.  That's certainly good enough for me!  Be warned.  If you don't repent, God is going pour out His anger on you.  Seems like an easy choice to me, which is what Paul was presenting to the Romans.  God and I are presenting it to you today.  God is the Almighty and you can have eternal life or God's wrath in anger.  The choice is yours.  Choose wisely today and experience God's peace and joy forever and ever.